I saw an article with an interesting topic on Facebook and I looked it up to see if it was real. It is real. Here is the interesting news. This article is from The Vatican, and since it involves the papacy, I take it to be credible, since they are reporting on themselves. The religion site is being built in United Arab Emirates, known as UAE.
"The Abrahamic Family House, which encloses a synagogue, a church and a mosque in a single complex, and which is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2022, is 20 percent complete, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF) said in a statement on Tuesday. ... Besides the 3 places of worship, the site includes a cultural center that aims to encourage people to exemplify human fraternity and solidarity within a community that cherishes the values of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence, while the unique character of each faith is preserved."
Each faith, meaning Judaism, Christianity (The Roman Catholic version of false Christianity) and Islam. Note that it is illegal for any building in the UAE to display a cross, therefore the church on this site will be devoid of one. It is illegal in UAE to convert from Islam to any other religion, so it remains to be seen how much ‘tolerance’ will be involved.
If you go to the website for this project, which The Vatican reports is 20% finished and will open within a year, you see a photo of how it will look and the architecture is quite beautiful.
Interesting. I had not know about these ‘Abraham Accords’ which was the covenant that forms the basis for the building project, with other projects to come. The accords marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, says Wikipedia. The progress of this building site is pretty amazing, because the Accords were only signed in September 2020, one year ago.
Let’s turn to past history and future prophecy for a moment
Missionary to Vanuatu in the late 1800s, John G. Paton, writing about the death of one of his first native converts in his book Thirty Years Among the South Sea Cannibals, said:
“While staying at Aneityum, I learned with as deep emotion as man ever felt for man, that noble old Abraham, the sharer of my Tannese trials, had during the interval peacefully fallen asleep in Jesus. He left for me his silver watch one which I had myself sent to the dear soul from Sydney, and which he greatly prized. In his dying hour he said, “Give it to Missi, my own Missi Paton; and tell him that I go to Jesus, where Time is dead.”
That converted cannibal had a real and profound grasp of his position in Christ. I have read many times that in heaven sin will be dead, tears will be dead, sorrow will be dead, but I never read anything put quite like that. In heaven, time is dead.
Jesus often spoke in agricultural parables and allusions, knowing that the farmers, wine producers, wheat gatherers etc would understand. Not much has changed since the ancient days in terms of how wine is made, olives are gathered, wheat is sifted. Today’s layperson, even a city dweller, can understand the simple comparisons He made with gathering wheat as living symbol of gathering His people. But understanding the process of such production does enhance our understanding of the parables and allusions even more. So let’s dig in.
I’m sure you have read (and admired) the following verse from Job a million times. But have you ever considered the prophetic aspects of this powerfully packed scripture? Job 38 is the climactic chapter where God speaks to Job about His own sovereignty over creation, time, and over all the peoples of earth.
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22-23)
Have you ever noticed the phrase, “the time of trouble”? Other translations say reserved for “the time of distress”. You will also notice the reference to “the day” of battle and war. These are standard phrases referring to the days of the Tribulation. (For example, Jeremiah 30:7, Obadiah 1:14, Joel 2:11).
God has used hail before in judgment and He will do so again. In the past, He used hail during the plagues He sent to Pharaoh, in themselves pictures of the Revelation judgments of the coming Tribulation.
“The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And the hail struck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field“. (Exodus 9:25)
The future judgment will contain another plague of hail-
And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. (Revelation 16:21)
Gill’s Exposition says of the Job 38 verse,
Of hail we have instances in Scripture, as employed against the Egyptians and Canaanites, Exodus 9:25; and of a reserve of it in the purposes of God, and in prophecy against the day of battle with antichrist, Revelation 16:21. And though there are no instances of snow being used in this way in Scripture, yet there is in history. Strabo reports, that at Corzena and Cambysena, which join to Mount Caucasus, such snows have fallen, that whole companies of men have been swallowed up in them; and even armies have been overwhelmed with them, as the army of the Gauls and such quantities have been thrown down from mountains, on which they have been lodged, that towns, towers, and villages, have been laid prostrate by them and in the year 443, a vast snow destroyed many.
I am so awed by prophecy. The (probably) oldest book of the Bible, Job, (~2000 BC?)contains a prophecy that is parallel to the last book of the Bible, Revelation (~90AD). God has His plan and who can thwart it? He has set aside some for eternal condemnation and others for eternal joy. He has stored aside His wrath to be unleashed upon them, and hail will be part of that stored-up unleashing. He is precise and will do what He says and it will come to pass to the Nth degree.
The Bible is awe-inspiring in its depiction of our God, who authored it and revealed to us what He wants us to know. Part of that knowing is seeing His prophetic mind and His plans come to pass. I praise Him for all His plans, ways, perfections, prophecies.
The purpose of prophecy is:
The disclosing of the will and purposes of God through inspired or Spirit-filled human beings. The OT emphasises the importance of prophecy as a means of knowing God. Many OT prophecies find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ.
Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.
1. Contents of Prophecy
That which is given by the Spirit to the prophet can refer to the past and to the present as well as to the future. However, that which is revealed to the prophet finds its inner unity in this, that it all aims to establish the supremacy of Jehovah. Prophecy views also the detailed events in their relation to the Divine plan, and this latter has for its purpose the absolute establishment of the supremacy of Jehovah in Israel and eventually on the entire earth.
von, O. C. (1915). Prophecy, Prophets. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2464). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.
Above all, prophecy shows who is LORD over all creation. It points to Jesus. It is history unfolding as it was laid down from the beginning. The LORD has stored up hail and snow, reserved for the day of distress. He will do it.
The Institute for Creation Research has a great intro to Job: Introduction to the book of Job – “It contains more references to Creation, the Flood and other primeval events than any book of the Bible except Genesis, and provides more insight into the age-long conflict between God and Satan than almost any other book. Remarkably, it also seems to contain more modern scientific insights than any other book of the Bible.”
Chuck Swindoll, Job, “Instead of asking where God is in the midst of your pain, the book of Job affirms God’s control and asks us, “Where are we in our pain? Are we trusting our Creator, even though we cannot understand our circumstances?”
Grace to You, “The Book of Job, “The author recounts an era in the life of Job, in which he was tested and the character of God was revealed. New Testament writers directly quote Job two times (Rom. 11:35; 1 Cor. 3:19), plus Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and James 5:11 show Job was a real person.”
I wrote about this in December 2009 and updated it in 2015. I’m taking on the topic once more here in 2021. It is a topic near and dear to me.
Now, I’m not a trained theologian. There are many people who have interpreted this verse in different ways, so I can’t be dogmatic. But I have a settled confidence.
Why? One particular verse. If God “placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it” then I need to understand that if there is no sea, what does ‘eternal’ mean? Plus I have several other reasons I believe interpreting the text to mean that there will indeed be an ocean, but not a sea.
Are you battle weary? Our daily battle as Christians is tiring, isn’t it? We battle our sin. We battle intrusion of other peoples’ sin. We battle false doctrine. We do this daily. There are some bigger battles that crop up, like the one happening at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 15-16. There, a host of like-minded representatives sent from the member churches, called “messengers,” will voice their opposition to Critical Race Theory and Egalitarianism (and its result, women preaching) to the mass who have gathered. The intention is to thwart the liberal drift. A previous battle like this had occurred in 1979-1980, called the Conservative Resurgence. It was an attempt, like the one coming up next week, to re-steer the Convention away from creeping liberalism and toward conservative, more biblical waters.
What word in the New Testament is used only once, in Matthew 24:12?
First, the scene.
The disciples had asked Jesus about the Temple, the times, and when His return would be. His answer is the longest discourse in the NT after the Sermon on the Mount, and the longest answer to any question the disciples asked. It comprises the entire chapters of Matthew 24 and goes on to Matthew 25. The response, given on the Mount of Olives and thus known as the Olivet Discourse, is about the Tribulation period. The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, when Jesus pours out His wrath on the unbelieving world, and punishes Israel for the final 7 years of time, three and a half of which are called the Great Tribulation. (Revelation 12:14, Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7).
There is a Tribulation to come. It is not the Tribulation now. However, the terrible things we see happening on earth today remind us of God’s stored-up wrath that the Lord will pour out on the world during that time of judgment.
Do I refer to the judgments to come because I believe we are in the Tribulation now? Of course not. The rapture of the church will happen first, and then the judgments will be rendered by the Holy and Just Judge exactly and in the order as chronicled in Revelation.
Do I speak of the severe judgment to come in order to instill fear? A little. Holy fear and biblical knowledge of the power of God in wrath is a good thing. His judgment and His wrath are holy attributes of which we should be acquainted.
I’ve been told we should not speak of judgment. “It’s so negative” people say. “You should only talk of the happy things to make people feel comfortable with Jesus,” they say. Yet, the first thing John the Baptist said in his ministry was to warn us to flee the wrath to come. He started with a message of repentance, because judgment was looming. (“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 3:1; and Matthew 3:7, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?“)
Repentance for sin and warnings of judgment are part of the Gospel message.
Kay Cude is a poet whose sensitivity to the glorious salvation of Jesus Christ is uniquely expressed through poetry and picture. Here is her latest offering, in which she explains her thought process. Enjoy.
If you look closely at the tower, you’ll see a tiny figure of someone, which refers to the statement, “As gazed I o’er the valley fair, to there below from tower high.”
That little figure caught my eye, as well as the city lighted up and the storm approaching from the left (approaching spiritual death). So I began to write. The city represents the safety of true salvation in Christ and understanding His Gospel.
The people represent those captured by a “different gospel” suggested as the “real” place of safety. Even though they “know” God’s truth — they are persuaded to run to false teaching and reject Christ.
Christ’s refuge is known to them and still stands in its truth, but when extreme peril approaches, they are convinced by someone’s whim (spiritual deception), to flee to eternal death and separation. Even the donkey digs in his heels against the “unknown” way,” and the dog barks at their sudden rejection.
Their end is eternal separation and eternal living death because they quickly deserted Christ’s truth for a distorted gospel.